Authenticity and flavors
The vineyard of Le Domaine de la Garelle, dominated as it is by the northern slopes of the Luberon mountain, is made up of calcareous soils, sand and clay. Certain parcels are thickly strewn with stones which, at nightfall, give off the heat stored up during the day helping different varieties of grapes — in particular the syrah — to develop their own delicate aromas.
The widely varying climate of this region — two dry seasons (a short winter one and a longsevere one in the summer) and two rainy seasons (heavy, violent rains in the autumn, with more in the spring) — is a special bonus for our vines.)
The wide variation of temperatures registered (frequent frosts in winter and hot, dry summers) with an average yearly total of 2700 hours of sunshine make it possible to create wines with a wide and varied display of individuality.
The mistral wind, by virtue of its very low humidity, is another big help in keeping the vines naturally healthy.
The vines are , on average, 25 years old for the AOC and 15 years old for the Vins de Pays (which have benefitted from replantings with varietals — chardonnay, viognier, merlot — to give more aromatic wines.)
The yields are, on average, between 25 and 50 hectolitres per hectare (1300-2600 bottles/acre).
The grape varieties
- Syrah: widely grown in the Rhone valley, the south-west of France, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon and also in Australia, South Africa, California , Mexico and Switzerland. Syrah makes strongly-coloured, long-lived wines with tastes of red fruit and a characteristic scent of violets.
- Grenache: of Spanish origin, it arrived in France in the Middle Ages. It is one of the mostly widely grown varieties in France and worldwide. It gives strong, very fruity wines with plenty of colours. It gives its best results on stony soils .
- Mourvèdre: probably of Spanish origin, it is grown in Provence and in Languedoc, and in California and Australia. Very strong coloured, it has excellent keeping protential. Its main characters in the mouth are pepper, game, truffles and black fruit.
- Merlot: widely found in its native Bordeaux region; it is the largest single variety grown in France, and the second worldwide. Grown in Italy (Friuli), in East Europe, Australia, California, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa. In the mouth, it shows fruit (black and red fruits) some vegetal hints and spices. As it ages: aromas of mushrooms and leather.
- Vermentino: give fine white wines, dry, light, not acid, inviting with very individual aromas. Also known as rolle or malvoisie de Corse.
- Ugni blanc: of Italian origin, brought to Avignon by the Papal court in the XIVth C. Grown in Australia, California, alcoholic and tart.
- Viognier : a grape with high quality aromas – peaches , apricots and almonds. Gives strongly perfumed, full-bodied and dry white wines.
- Chardonnay: the dominant variety in the white Burgundies. It gives white wines white are generous and supple, which keep well and have aromas of citrus fruits (grapefruit , lemon.)
- Roussane: originally from Montélimar, this cépage is delicately scented, offering hints of coffee, honeysuckle, irises and peonies – and its taste improves with age.